Spreetail Blog

Hand Saws vs. Power Saws

When to Use a Hand Saw Instead of Power Saw

by Maria Pontiero
Mar 12, 2019

Whether you want to do some work around the house or are preparing for your next DIY project, you’ll probably need a saw. The type of saw you need is dependent on what kind of materials youre working with and what kind of cuts you need to make. If you just need to cut a couple of 2x4sdown to size, saw through some pipes, or cut down tree branches, you’re better off with a hand tool saw. Starting a large project? Power tool saws will likely save you time and energy.  

Need some help trying to figure out what saw is best for your next project? No worries, we’ve created a list for you to help determine the right saw for you. 

Traditional Hand Saw 

These are best for cutting wood by hand. For an affordable saw you can’t go wrong with a hand saw. Handsaws are great because you don’t have to invest a lot of money to get the tool you need. Plus, some people just prefer to work the old-fashioned way and steer clear of anything electric. Not only is the handsaw a money saver, it’s also a space saver. This humble saw doesn’t require cords, mounting tables, or other special equipment to get the job done 


A hacksaw is a metal-framed saw used to cut metal, including bolts and pipes. It can also be used to cut plastics, butit’s not normally used to cut woods. There are 2 types of hacksaws: adjustable or solid frame. Hacksaws with adjustable frame can hold blades from 8 to 16 inches long, while those with solid frames canonly hold the length blade length they’re designed for. 

Circular Saw 

If you’re aching from hand saw use, it might be time to upgrade to a circular saw. While you might want the freedom of a cordless tool, corded circular saws are still much cheaper, just as effective, and don’t require batteries or chargers. A circular saw canrip wood (cut with the grain to create a board’s width) and crosscut wood (cut across the grain to establish length). Plus, the circular saw can cut all kindof wood including plywood, MDF, and solid hardwood stock. 

Miter Saw 

If you’re the frequent DIYer, consider a miter saw. They’re useful for cutting molding, trim pieces, picture frames, door frames, and everything else that needs an angled cut. Plus, miter saws don’t have much of a learning curve and are generally easy to operate. If you’re going to be spending your time cutting multiple types of materials, miter saws are a great option to reduce the time spent cutting materials. 

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